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This story is from the Alaska adventure my father and mother took us on while we were young. It wasn’t just a sight-seeing trip. They decided in the late 1950’s we would all experience homesteading in the wilderness of Alaska. Well, Daddy decided. Mother followed along with us trailing behind her. We had no say in the matter. You can read about the beginning of that trip here. And you can follow along on my author Facebook page to keep up with how the book I’m writing with notes from my mothers letters and journals is progressing.

There were four of us kids, BT (Before Tish) and we probably ranged in ages of four years through eight years at this particular time. It had snowed and snowed and of course we wanted out in it. Mother would always complain that by the time she got the last one of us suited up, the first one was back in needing the bathroom and causing a chain reaction, and then it started all over again.

Chip, Naomi, Lindy, Debbie

        Chip, Naomi, Lindy, Debbie

We must have stayed outside for a longer period of time than usual because we started rolling a snowball and we rolled and we rolled and we rolled. We took turns rolling and then we rolled altogether. Soon it was so big and heavy with that wet snow we couldn’t roll it any longer.

One of us had the bright idea to shove a broomstick in the middle of it and start carving out the insides to make an igloo. We were sure that would be a whole lot easier than making ice blocks. I don’t think we got enough out for even one of us to crawl in. Tired out, we left the broomstick wedged in the snowball and went inside for the day.

The next morning our broomstick was frozen solid in the snowball and the snowball was frozen in the spot in the side yard where we had left it. We couldn’t budge either one. It sat there for months with that broomstick protruding from its belly, until spring break-up and the sunshine melted it. We had high aspirations, but didn’t think that one through very well.



About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

6 responses »

  1. Isn’t it amazing how easy it was for kids to consume an entire day on an outdoor project that involved no adults and no technology?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My father and his elder brother, both dead now. Used to call each other tish and tosh. If one was tish the other was tosh. Cheers Jamie.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Karen Lilly (Brooks)

    I really enjoy reading your tales from Alaska. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person


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